About the song

Ah, yes, George Strait’s “Marina Del Rey”. Released in 1982, this song is a cornerstone of Strait’s early career, showcasing both his smooth, honeyed vocals and his knack for storytelling within a country music framework.

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Now, for those unfamiliar with the California geography, Marina Del Rey is a beach town near Los Angeles, known for its harbor and relaxed atmosphere. Strait, the king of Texas country, takes us on a journey far from the dusty plains and honky-tonks, instead placing us on the sun-drenched shores of the Pacific Coast.

This wasn’t entirely new territory for country music. Stars like Glen Campbell had explored California themes before. But Strait’s approach was refreshingly understated. The song’s gentle tempo and lilting melody, courtesy of songwriters Frank Dycus and Dean Dillon, evoke the laid-back California vibe.

“Marina Del Rey” isn’t a foot-stomping anthem or a tale of heartbreak. It’s a quiet reflection on a summer romance, a fleeting connection that takes place against the backdrop of the California coast. We hear the gentle strum of acoustic guitars and the subtle brush of percussion, creating a soundscape that complements the story being told.

Lyrically, the song paints a vivid picture. Strait sings of “California sunshine” and “white sand beach,” a stark contrast to the usual Texas imagery of his music. He meets a woman, likely on vacation, and they share a carefree week together. They walk along the beach, “watch the surfers catch a wave,” and soak up the idyllic California atmosphere.

There’s a sense of nostalgia woven into the lyrics. Lines like “We talked ’bout nothin’ much at all, just let the time slip by” hint at the impermanence of the situation. This isn’t a love story built to last. It’ a brief encounter, a summer fling that will fade with the tan lines.

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The beauty of “Marina Del Rey” lies in its bittersweet nature. It captures the fleeting joy of a summer romance, the kind that feels perfect in the moment but is destined to end. Strait’s delivery is key here. He conveys a sense of contentment with the experience, a recognition that some memories are best left cherished for what they were – a perfect week in a beautiful place.

The song reached number six on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1982, solidifying Strait’s position as a rising star. “Marina Del Rey” became a staple of his early live shows, a testament to its enduring appeal. It’s a song that reminds us of the simple pleasures – sunshine, the ocean, and a connection, however temporary, with another soul. So, put on your favorite pair of boots, or perhaps some sandals for this occasion, and let George Strait whisk you away to the sun-kissed shores of “Marina Del Rey”.

Video

Lyrics

“Marina Del Rey”

We said good-bye in Marina Del Rey.
“I had a good time” was the last thing I heard her say, as I walked away.
And on the plane back to Tennessee
My mind comes across her memory
And yesterday in Marina Del Rey.

[Chorus:]
On a hidden beach, under a golden sun,
She spread a blanket that we laid down on,
And loved the world away in Marina Del Rey.
And as we looked into each other’s eyes,
We found our bodies lost in paradise,
Like castaways in Marina Del Rey.

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Like the ocean tides highs and lows
Love sometimes comes and goes away, in Marina Del Rey.
And as this plane is touching down,
Tears touch my eyes for I have found
My heart has stayed in Marina Del Rey.

[Chorus]

We said goodbye in Marina Del Rey.